Mary Y. Lee, MD, J75, M83 Community Service Learning Faculty Mini-Grants

The Tisch College and Tufts University School of Medicine Community Service Learning Program (Tisch-Tufts School of Medicine CSL Program) is pleased to announce our Mary Y. Lee, MD, J75, M83 CSL Faculty Mini-Grant awards, designed to inspire medical students and faculty to engage in community-driven efforts that promote health and social justice.

Read about previous CSL Faculty Mini Grant Awardees below.

Tufts School of Medicine faculty are invited to apply for up to $7500 to fund the development of a new CSL initiative or improvement of an existing initiative in partnership with a nonprofit organization partner. Grants will be awarded to faculty on a competitive basis according to the selection criteria.

Quick Facts

  • Objective: To fund the development of new Tisch-Tufts School of Medicine CSL Program initiatives or improvement of existing initiatives that inspire medical students and faculty to engage in community-driven efforts that promote health and social justice. This can include an experience which fulfills the CSL pre-clinical requirement, and/or which extends CSL concepts, partnership, and experiences into the clinical years (such as an enrichment elective on a health equity topic). Strong project proposals will address community-identified needs, fulfill the educational goals for Tufts School of Medicine students, and demonstrate potential for sustainability beyond the funding period. Priority will be given to projects which advance TUSM's efforts toward becoming an anti-racist institution.
  • Eligibility: Open to Tufts School of Medicine faculty.
  • Funding: Up to $7500 for an 18 month award period.
  • Submit an email of interest by January 9, 2024. Please email Jennifer Greer-Morrissey
  • Full proposals due March 13. 2024. Please email Jennifer Greer-Morrissey
  • Awards will be announced in April 2024 for the funding period to begin July 1, 2024.

Application Checklist at a Glance

  • Email of Interest: Submit an Email of Interest via email with a brief description of the project to Jennifer Greer-Morrissey, Coordinator, Tisch-Tufts School of Medicine CSL Program.
  • Full Proposals: Submit applications and proposal documents, forms and attachments via email to Jennifer Greer-Morrissey. Full Proposals must not exceed 15 pages, including attachments.
    • Proposal Narrative (4-6 pages maximum)
      • Project Rationale
      • Objectives
      • Methods
      • Evaluation
      • Timeline and Sustainability (using projected timeline form)
      • Budget Justification (using budget form)
    • Two Letters of Support
      • Letter of support from Department Chair(s) or other supervisor (one page each)
      • Letter of support from Community Partner
  • Curriculum Vitae of First Author (2 page maximum)
  • Other supporting material — Limit of 2 additional attachments (5 page maximum)

  • The CSL Faculty Mini-Grants Program is open to Tufts School of Medicine faculty.

  • Email of Interest — Due by January 9, 2024

    The Email of Interest will enable the Selection Committee to review the project plan and provide authors with feedback. It should briefly address the project rationale, activities, and use of funds. Also, please indicate whether you are planning to conduct an educational research study with your project for potential dissemination in the field. Submit an Email of Interest via email to Jennifer Greer-Morrissey by January 9, 2024.

    Full Proposals — Due by March 13, 2024

    Applications and proposal documents, forms and attachments must be submitted via email by March 13, 2024 to Jennifer Greer-Morrissey. You will be notified via email once all materials are received.

    Proposal Components

    • Project Narrative: (4-6 pages of the areas below, including budget narrative) Your project narrative should follow the format outlined below (including page limits) to ensure that all the review criteria of the Selection Committee are addressed. Your entire proposal with all supporting documents should not exceed 15 pages.
      • Project Rationale: Please describe the rationale for the project, including community-identified needs that will be addressed through this project and the educational goals this will fulfill for Tufts School of Medicine students. If this proposal is for an existing project, please clarify how this grant will expand or improve the project.
      • Objectives: Please list specific objectives for this project. Objectives should reflect an impact both on the community served and on our students.
      • Methods: Describe the project activities, including recruitment/training of students, the direct and/or indirect services they will provide, and any products that will be created. Please clarify whether the project is intended for:
        • Preclinical students to participate in during the academic year
        • Preclinical students during summer between 1st and 2nd year
        • Clinical students completing a project within the context of a rotation
      • Evaluation: Describe your plan to assess the effectiveness and impact of the project. Address each project objective with a clear evaluation method/tool to assess whether it has been met. (Note: Students participating in this project for Community Service Learning credit will be required to complete a final reflection at the end of their project. However, please consider other assessment tools to evaluate the project, such as community members' feedback.)
      • Timeline and Sustainability: Outline how the project will be implemented and evaluated within the 18-month period. Detail the process and milestones using the projected timeline form. Describe plans for sustainability of this project. This can include the potential for this project to receive outside funding, ways the project will build capacity so that it can continue beyond the funding time period, or other plans for continuation of this effort.
      • Budget and Budget Justification: Include a budget for all proposed expenses using the budget form. The budget justification should be included in the above project narrative text and justify each budget line item. Include the name(s) and role of key personnel (e.g. faculty, project/administrative manager, etc.), and identify the budget officer from your department. The budget narrative should also disclose any other ongoing, pending or recently completed (within the past 3 years) funding related to this project proposal including total award amount, your role, and percent of time on the project. It is expected that approximately 1/3 of your budget will be allocated toward compensation of the Community Partner organization's time and efforts to support this project.
    • Two Letters of Support
      • Your department chair(s) or supervisor should provide a letter of support affirming the potential impact of this project, support of your time and effort, project feasibility, and sustainability.
      • The Community Partner should provide a letter of support to confirm that the project meets their needs and that they can accommodate these additional volunteers.
    • Curriculum Vitae of First Author (2 page maximum)
    • Additional Materials You are welcome to submit additional materials which will illustrate the need, methods, or impact of this project. These should be no more than 5 pages and do not include your timeline or CV which are required.

    Submission Formatting

    To ensure uniform submissions and fair evaluation of all proposals, please adhere to the text formatting below when composing your proposal documents:

    • Black ink; 12-point font (Arial or Times New Roman)
    • Single-spaced with double-spacing between sections and paragraphs
    • One-inch margins
    • Label in bold all section headings specified in the Project Narrative (Project Rationale, Objectives, Methods, etc.)
    • Name all attachments as follows: "First Author's Last Name, Type of Document". For example, "Jones Budget", "Jones CV", "Jones Letter of Intent". If there are multiple supporting documents, please number accordingly (e.g. Jones Attachment 1, Jones Attachment 2)

    For additional guidance, please view Research in Medical Education Grantsmanship: How to Write Effective Grant Proposals.

    Interim and Final Reports

    Grant recipients must agree to submit:

    • Interim quarterly progress reports to verify progress on the proposed time line.
    • A final report within 30 days of the completion of the funding cycle.*

    *Note: Grant funds will be dispersed quarterly following receipt of an acceptable progress report. The final balance of the grant funds will be released within four weeks of receipt of the final report as approved by the Selection Committee.

  • Grants up to $7500 for an 18 month award period will be awarded to Tufts School of Medicine faculty on a competitive basis according to the selection criteria.

    Funds will be dispersed biannually following receipt of an acceptable progress report. The final balance of the grant funds will be released within four weeks of receipt of the final report as approved by the Selection Committee.

  • Strong proposals are expected to address community needs through projects that will:

    • Engage Tufts School of Medicine students in a Community Service Learning (CSL) experience in an underserved setting
    • Provide direct or indirect service to the community (as opposed to just provide a clinical experience that happens to be in an underserved setting)
    • Address an area of community-identified need; community organization(s) are true partners in all aspects of project
    • Demonstrate potential for sustainability beyond the funding period
    • Advance TUSM's commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution

    Our focus is on projects in which medical students address health disparities and/or social determinants of health while also fulfilling the expectations of the CSL curricular requirement (a minimum of 50 hours of service).

  • 2023-2024

    The TEEEN® Program: A community Initiative to address pediatric obesity and a venue for medical education of social determinants of health

    Principal Investigator: Shirley González, MD

    Obesity and its comorbidities are a serious public health concern for children in the United States, and there is a need to teach medical, physician and graduate students about pediatric obesity, social determinants of health, and motivational interviewing skills in an interdisciplinary community setting that incorporates child-parent dyads. The TEEEN® (Teens, Empowerment, Exercise, Education, and Nutrition) program is a four-hour monthly program presented to pediatric patients and their parents in a non-clinic setting. The goal of the program is to address the prevalence of overweight and obesity in vulnerable populations and provide participants with an opportunity to attain their full health potential. Students are recruited to run the program, serve as mentors for TEEEN® program participants, collaborate in research projects and contribute to the ongoing development of the program. By participating in the TEEEN® program, students gain an awareness of pediatric obesity and receive firsthand experience in working to change the health behaviors of families. The goals of this grant project are to improve the delivery of this existing community initiative by expanding on the educational projects offered and on the extent of evaluations conducted, and to further develop an ongoing educational medical education QI project of this educational intervention.


    Cardiovascular Health Education and Screening Program for Women Survivors of Domestic Violence

    Lee Joseph, MD, MS
    Community Partner: Saheli

    Domestic abuse is common across the world, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 women globally and 1 in 4 women in the US.(1) Women who experience domestic abuse may be more likely to develop heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.(2) Despite the high cardiovascular disease risk for survivors and a recognized need for education, screening and prevention efforts, there are no cardiovascular health resources currently available to survivors of domestic violence.

    The Lahey Women’s Heart Center in partnership with Saheli, a Burlington based nonprofit community organization for domestic violence survivors, designed this Community Service-Learning initiative. This initiative is a program for raising awareness about women’s heart health, for cardiovascular screening among the women survivors of domestic violence and for establishing clinical care for those survivors with positive screening by engaging Tufts University School of Medicine students and faculty in a community driven effort. Participant knowledge and cardiovascular risk markers before and after the intervention will be measured to assess the effectiveness of this intervention.


    Hudson Street Stoop 

    Alice Tang, M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine 
    Community Partner: Asian Community Development Corporation

    Hudson Street used to be the “front stoop” of Boston’s Chinatown, where kids played ball in the street and “aunties” sat late into the night, swapping stories. Then, in the 1950’s, the State’s highway construction tore through the neighborhood, displacing hundreds of families and turning Chinatown’s “front stoop” into a condemned corner. More recently, the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), a community-based organization in Chinatown, reclaimed the land and built mixed-income housing and green space in the neighborhood. However, gentrification and continued displacement has created a patchwork of strangers - long-time residents, new immigrants, working-class families, and wealthy millennials - living on this block. ACDC, therefore, conceived of a social experiment, which was to create a modern-day stoop on One Greenway Park in the form of temporary public art installations, to be co-designed by local artists with the community, and replaced every 18 months.

    The inaugural exhibit (May 2021-November 2022) is Gianna Stewart’s “Storytell and Sway”. This installation is an outdoor play space with swing benches formed in a hexagonal structure. Quotes from past and present Hudson Street residents (in English, Mandarin, and Spanish) are plasma cut into the backs of the benches as a way of sharing the stories they remember with the community. In partnership with ACDC, we will evaluate the public health impact of this public art initiative. We will use a mixed-methods approach (surveys, interviews, and observations) to measure the impact of “Storytell and Sway” on the following outcomes: 1) improved access to safe, open spaces; 2) creating a sense of belonging in the community/neighborhood; and 3) building empathy across class, race, and immigration backgrounds. 


    Empowering Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities: Enhancing Sexual Health Education through Community Collaboration

    Laura K. Grubb, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, Ireen Ahmed, MD, Laura Coyle, MD, Cassandra Scott, M20
    Community Partner: Josiah Quincy Upper School, Chinatown

    Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) Pediatric and Psychiatry Departments collaborate with TUSM students on a community service project developing and teaching a sexual health curriculum for adolescents with intellectual disabilities at Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQS). This curriculum provides science-based formal sexuality education to this particularly vulnerable community. Adolescents with learning difficulties may not receive appropriate sexual health education because of community myths that they are “asexual” or sexually naive. A lack of effective sexual education can lead to adolescents engaging in risky sexual activity resulting in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among students with intellectual disabilities. These individuals also may have communication challenges that make it difficult to be assertive and avoid unsafe and nonconsensual sexual practices.

    This project is ideal for students who are interested in reproductive health, psychiatry, pediatrics, and working with intellectually impaired children or adults. It provides a rare opportunity for preclinical medical students to work with physicians at Tufts Medical Center and engage with the community surrounding the medical school and center. This allows students to explore the value of community-based health outreach programs and consider opportunities to get involved in their communities as they transition to their clinical years, residencies, and careers as physicians.

    For more about this program, read the article in Tufts Now.


    Interprofessional Student-Driven Chapter of Primary Care Progress

    Julie M. Schirmer, LCSW, Kristen Sciacca, MD, Corinne Martineau, PharmD, Leigh Johnson, M17, Hamish Haddow, M18
    Community Partner: Preble Street

    The purpose of this faculty mini-grant is to support the growing Maine Primary Care Progress (PCProgress) chapter interprofessional student activities in the Portland area. The chapter mission is to transform improve primary care in Maine with a focus on leadership development, interprofessional collaboration, patient care and community outreach to high risk, underserved populations.

    We will apply Community Oriented Primary Care principles to our activities by: 1) identifying a population, 2) determining their needs, 3) creating a project that meets the needs, and 4) measuring results (Robert Graham Center, 2017). Our identified population is the underserved, at-risk population of Greater Portland. We will determine the needs of this population through participation in quantitative and qualitative research projects. Our current and planned projects include volunteering in the local soup kitchen; strategizing with community organizations to create a student hotspotting project; community Town Hall meetings to inform students and the community about transformational projects; and conducting an environmental scan of primary care transformational projects. We will measure results through assessments from the students, faculty advisors, participating community providers and Town Hall participants.


    Passamaquoddy Pipeline Program

    Jo Ellen Linder, MD
    Community Partner: Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribe, Beatrice Rafferty School

    During academic year 2014-15 a Maine track student established a personal connection with members of the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy tribe in Maine that led to several meetings and communications in the spring and early summer. The Passamaquoddy Pipeline Program was initiated when several students and two Maine Tufts faculty members (Christina Holt, MD, MPH and Tania Strout, RN, PhD) traveled Sipayik to participate in an intertribal health fair August 7-8, 2015.

    In the summer of 2015, Chief Fred Moore of the Pleasant Point Tribe, Loretta Godfrey RN, and other members of the Tribal government laid-out a number of specific health concerns on the Reservation that they believe to be high priorities. The Passamaquoddy leaders and community members want to collaborate with Tufts student outreach efforts on the following: 1) mental health & substance abuse, 2) diabetes, 3) obesity, 4) elder care, and 5) maternal/sexual health. They also would like some component of the program to engage younger tribal members around medical education and a future in medicine or health as a career.